Argentina 13-36 New Zealand: All Blacks on the brink after another bonus-point success

By Sports Desk September 18, 2021

New Zealand pulled further clear at the top of the Rugby Championship standings and closed on the title with a 36-13 victory over Argentina in Brisbane.

The All Blacks were as dominant in this nominal away Test as they had been in the previous clash last week, even if the scoreline was this time a little closer.

Patrick Tuipulotu, TJ Perenara, Tupou Vaa'i (twice) and Samisoni Taukei'aho each contributed tries for a fourth bonus-point win from four to move Ian Foster's men 10 points clear of South Africa ahead of a double-header against the world champions.

New Zealand had to wait only until the sixth minute for their opening try, as Will Jordan carried to the line after a break from Hoskins Sotutu, before Tuipulotu's power got the ball over.

After Emiliano Boffelli's penalty ensured Argentina would not go scoreless for a third straight Test against the All Blacks, the Pumas were soon on the back foot again.

New Zealand had a further three tries – for Jordan and Rieko Ioane twice – ruled out before half-time, but they were still able to successfully cross twice more, with Perenara stooping through following a scrum and pressure on the stroke of the interval producing a simple score for Vaa'i in the corner.

A flowing move from left to right created space for Taukei'aho after the restart, although Boffelli's excellent stretching catch on the left then allowed him to get the ball grounded before he was taken into touch by a combination of Jordie Barrett and Jordan.

That prompted an improved Argentina spell, yet the All Blacks countered effectively and Vaa'i was unmarked to complete the scoring.

Will makes it work... eventually

Jordan was influential in much of the All Blacks' best work, but he was also involved in two of their disallowed tries. The wing was just ahead of Taukei'aho before racing through to score and then played a forward pass of his own to Ioane following a superb take from Damian McKenzie's kick.

Jordan got it right for the first try of the second half, however, unloading a superb ball to Taukei'aho.

Celebration against the Springboks?

The All Blacks have now won nine Tests on the bounce, last enjoying a longer run between August 2015 and October 2016 (18 wins), and the next one should be special – their 100th meeting with the Springboks.

Anything less than a bonus-point South Africa win, with New Zealand failing to earn a losing bonus, would see last year's Tri-Nations champions crowned again.

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